Boaters and beachgoers should trade their swimsuits and sandals for ponchos and rain boots as Hurricane Dorian approaches Florida, maritime authorities say.
The Coast Guard urged Floridians to avoid the water and prepare themselves for Hurricane Dorian instead of engaging in the usual Labor Day activities.
“Storms like Dorian move quickly,” Capt. JoAnn Burdian, commander of Coast Guard Sector Miami Beach, said in a press release. “They are extremely dangerous and unpredictable.”
Boating this weekend is even more risky with the Coast Guard busy gearing up for the storm.
“The Coast Guard’s ability to conduct search and rescue can be diminished or nonexistent at the height of a storm,” Burdian said.
Coast Guard officials advised owners of small watercrafts to store them in a safe place off the water. Finding a “safe haven” should be a priority for those with large boats, said Burdian. Boat owners should also secure loose objects.
“The Coast Guard’s first priority is to ensure that the public and our people remain safe as Dorian’s impacts take place,” said Capt. Matthew Thompson, commanding officer of Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg.